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October 26, 2015

Jimbo Fisher

Tallahassee, Florida

COACH FISHER: After watching the film of the game, of course I saw it from there, but after watching the film, I thought our kids played extremely hard in the game. Thought we wanted to have success, thought we competed in the game. Just have to take advantage of more opportunities and play a little bit smarter and little bit more efficient in things and make sure we're preparing very well.

As coaches and players we've got to do a good job of that so we can go out and execute. At the end of the day, that's what gets down to. It is effort. We had great effort in the game, great execution at times, just not consistent in some things and it ended up costing us. You've got to execute on every play at every moment. You don't know what play changes the game. We had plenty of opportunities.

Georgia Tech played a great game. We competed in a great game. They played very hard. They left some opportunities on the field. Just like you do in some of those games, but we have to worry about us. What we have to do is just get better in some small areas and get back to the practice field and get better preparation so we can play better and look forward to doing that today and get ready for a good Syracuse team.

Syracuse is a very good ballclub, playing very well defensively. Had a tough four-loss streak here. Played LSU extremely tough. South Florida played them really good. They were in the game to the end. Virginia they lost an overtime game. Virginia came back and tied them in the end. Played and lost a heartbreaker to Pitt. They lost some tough ones.

They're playing very well on defense. Offensively, different in how they do things, the plays are the same. A lot of different formations and motions cause you a lot of problems. Quarterback has been playing very well. They can throw the ball. They can run it. Doing a really, really nice job, and it will be a big test for us coming in this week. We need to rebound, have a great game and play a great game.

Q. You mention rebounding. What are the things you look for in players?
COACH FISHER: Focused and concentration, and get ready to prepare. You've got to put last week behind you. One loss can't become two. But you've got to remember the things, you made mistakes and why you made mistakes and you've got to correct them. You've go to move on and practice and have preparation that allows you to play well in the game. As coaches we have to make sure we prepare them well. As players they have to take the mental and physical approach to do things right so we can continue to play well the whole time.

Q. How did Everett play on Saturday?
COACH FISHER: You know, graded out very well. But as a quarterback, there's always, you can grade as a quarterback tremendously and grade 90% and have four plays that cost you a game. He didn't cost us the game. There were some opportunities he wishes he had back. There was a high throw on a deep ball on the goal line, one hit the cross route, should have hit the angle behind him. On the last ball and interception, he sticks it on the back shoulder going in the end zone. He wishes he stuck it on the front shoulder, I mean, a few inches. But his decision making for the most part was good. Took care of the football.

Had the one in the red zone, which is the first one he had during the year. It wasn't awful, but it was a turnover. We've got to get it a little smarter there. And just, we kind of took turns in the game. Be it linemen, be it him, be it back, be it a receiver. You know what I mean? Just took turns in the game. That's why I say and everybody says.

And it's funny in football, you can grade out well. Guys can grade well, but all of a sudden you have limited possessions and all of a sudden this guy does it, this guy does it, this guy does it, as a unit, it's not cohesive enough to get done what you need to get done. That's what we've got to do is clean that up.

Q. Travis had I think four plays where it could have gone either way. Should he have caught all four of those in your mind?
COACH FISHER: I can't, again, the one on the end zone is on his back hip. I can't tell -- I haven't seen a TV copy to tell if he got his hand in there or whatever, and he's fighting for the ball. He got open, we would have put the ball in front of him a little bit more in a tight area, but I can't tell that.

The one on the goal line, the thing he's got to do with the goal line, he just used poor technique. He runs a great route. Everett throws a perfect ball but when he caught it, he jumped. When you jump you go backwards and you have to set your feet and tip toe and work the sideline a little better. His technique could have been better. He ran great routes.

Q. The play right before the field goal. You threw an out to him?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, I wish he could have made that play. That would have been five extra yards right there coming right on that. We worked that. That's something we do religiously. We know what we're going to do, and how we're going to do it, and we work those situations.

Q. Obviously, he's a really talented kid.
COACH FISHER: Oh, yeah, he played hard. He blocked well, made a real nice catch. That vertical catch in the middle of the field on that drive before the half, that was a tremendous catch. He had some nice plays. Just guys trying hard. We've just got to finish better and execute a little better.

Q. Looking back on the film, what are some of the things that kind of stood out to you that maybe you didn't notice?
COACH FISHER: We noticed most of the things. We had the motion penalty. The guys being anxious and jumping a little bit, you know what I'm saying? There wasn't anything blatant that we missed going in that we said, you know, I never saw that. You know what I'm saying? We kind of knew what was going on and what happened. It wasn't anything that just jumps crazy on the film.

Q. In the game you mentioned losing poise with regards to the offensive linemen. That's not a physical thing you can model. So how do you teach poise?
COACH FISHER: Just constant preparation. When you're prepared, you know what to do. Here's the other thing, knowing you know, and I don't mean they lost poise as far as they broke down. They were wanting to do it so bad. Sometimes you want to do something so bad. Sometimes, for instance, if you like to hit a golf shot, sometimes you swing extra hard. That's the one you shank the farthest, and just having the confidence to know that I can do it and have been doing it. But just wanting good things to happen too bad and not relaxing and letting it happen in the procedure. Not just you get a rep and that happens, and hey, I won't do that again. Sometimes you have to go through those experiences, unfortunately.

Q. So on that note, a lot of the players are mentioning some of the guys here have never lost a game in their career. So can you walk them through this week and say, how do you rebound after?
COACH FISHER: We'll explain it. Just like everything. We put everything out there. This is what we do. You've got to remind them why you hadn't lost a game. You know what I'm saying? Because you prepared well. It's not about -- that's what happens sometimes. It gets too much about winning and losing. It's not about winning and losing. It's about the process of how you prepare and how you play each play at a time. If the process is right, the results come and then you can live with those things, you know what I'm saying?

And sometimes we focus on outcomes, so we do not need to focus on the outcomes of games. We need to focus on the preparation of the game and playing the game one play at a time and the process of the game. Then we'll be fine. We'll get back to reminding them of that, and then go out and have a great practice.

Q. Do you like how this whole week of practice obviously how the guys responds so far talking to them? Have you kind of seen that?
COACH FISHER: I haven't been around them. Yesterday was a day off. We can't move around them on a day off. But everything I've had from the players that have called or run by and say hello, they understand it. They're all willing and ready to work and make sure we go on and move on.

Q. Talk about the false starts and also a couple of times now where snaps have come where Golson doesn't seem ready. Is there anything happening?
COACH FISHER: No, that's silent counts. Those are all on silent counts. That only happened once. The other one was a low right snap. The other one, the guard thought he saw Everett step and he didn't. He was making the protection, and he tapped the center. That's how you do. Because the old days you used to make the center look through because he makes all the calls. That gets bad. That way the guards are looking back, catching, and they get to tap and get a second and keeps everybody's vision in a silent count and that's why everybody's doing it everywhere.

That is best unified way. We've studied that thing like crazy, but just made a bad call right there. That's what it was.

Q. You said there are different guys (No microphone), are you finding any common theme for what's going on?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, the last three-and-a-half years we've been 90-something percent. We've been one of the best red zone teams in scoring touchdowns. You go back to the Miami game. Even Dalvin, remember he dropped a touchdown. He dropped a walk-in touchdown. We had another run. We missed one block.

In the game the other day, we jumped backwards on the ball, you know what I mean? And the other one, they slanted on the second play. Got a pretty good push right there. That's going to happen. Then you're going to get unblocked players on the red zone. The time we had to slant in the drag and I sat and talked about two times there, we came out and blocked this play perfectly, and we came off and missed a backer on the run by the quarterback. I mean, it's blocked perfect. And he's doubling off, and he comes off on the backer and just catches the shoulder of it. I mean, it's just there is nothing wrong with the play. But we have to coach it better so they can execute it just a hair better. It started happening in Miami.

Now Louisville, we can't do that. We finished in the red zone. Miami we did two or three times and they were self-inflicted. These are self-inflicted. That's not blaming. We have to coach them better on that technique and make sure we understand them. We worked Tech out of red zone third downs now. That's situation sound. Sometimes you have those things. But you go back to fundamentals and coach them.

Q. People wonder why maybe it helps getting big receivers or something like that might help. You feel confident totally?
COACH FISHER: Well, where you going to get them at? Well, if they were ready, don't you think they'd be playing? We tried to actually hit -- he broke two. He broke his toe in practice or something the week before. So you lost that and the other guys are all experienced guys. They're tight ends and all those things. I promise you those will be the guys. There is no magical dust or magical player or magical formula. It's what we've done. Last year we didn't have big guys. We were very good in the red zone. It's just about executing what we're do being.

Q. Coach, does a blocked field goal potential return, is that a scenario that you prepare your guys for?
COACH FISHER: Yes, we cover field goals and do that all the time. Now it's harder to cover the blocked one because the one that's down the field, you get spread out and you know where the ball's at. When a ball's blocked, they have to find it first. You know what I'm saying? You look at what happened, our left side actually hit the middle of the field and went to the left side. The right side was the blocked side.

What I mean by that, that's where they were blocking the kick. When that happens, they've got to get off the ground. That creates a wad of people. They got up by the time they found it. They started running and they couldn't get out. Giorgio, we always have Giorgio and Izzo, two guys that are bigger, longer bodies that are athletic, two guys that can make plays in space to get around him and our linemen couldn't get it and both kickers tried to make the play in the end. That's what happened. That is something we work on and talk about.

Q. Prior to that play, they had a guy standing back there?
COACH FISHER: They didn't. They didn't.

Q. They didn't?

Q. So they were prepared in case the ball was blocked?
COACH FISHER: All the time. That's why I always joke about the ones with Alberto, and I was trying it from 60-something yards and he was making them. So we do go over that, yes. We talk about how we disburse the six guys down the field. The two overhang guys lap back like second level guys and fill the holes of where the guy's going, and the kicker and punter or I mean the holder and the snapper filter down to that side. Yes, we do.

Q. Was his kick low?
COACH FISHER: Yes, it was a little bit.

Q. Little low?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, tried to drive it too much and needed a little more juice to get flat. Actually caught here. He didn't penetrate the guy's hands up. Hit it just a little bit low, but I'd kick with him a thousand times again.

Q. What positives do you take away from the game?
COACH FISHER: We competed in the game, played hard. You have to learn from things that go wrong and you have to move forward. Guys did not quit in the game. Both times when they come back, they did a great job before the half. With a minute to go to get it back down there to have a field goal to win the game again. You know what I mean?

Our kids responded. They competed. They answered the bell as far as competition. We just have to be more efficient in what we're trying to do.

Q. Could this be the week you get Terrance (No microphone) back?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, possibly could be. Possibly could be.

Q. Is it looking pretty good right now?
COACH FISHER: It is. But with the high-ankle sprain, I keep telling you guys, it's push off. The guy can go run. When you're talking about changing direction, but they thought he would be ready. He's really advanced way ahead of time, and we'll see when he gets ow there. They said in the treatments he's doing excellent. They think he'll have a chance to play this week.

Q. Is Tyler and Kareem the other ones?
COACH FISHER: Kareem should be. He got banged up. I don't know if he'll be out there ready today, but he should be ready tomorrow from my understanding. And Tyler's getting evaluated, we'll see.

Q. How much can you use Saturday night in the way you judged Derwin James and how he's coming along? It's such a unique offense, and he seemed to play well?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, he's played well. You see it in practice. I've judged it a lot in the game, but those guys are consistent in what they've done. He's done a nice job. He's getting better and better. You see him making plays. He's learning. He makes a few mistakes here and there, but all the freshmen are going to. Him and Josh Sweat, some of those freshmen that jumped out.

Q. (No microphone)?
COACH FISHER: Thought he played well. Thought he played well. They got that one play off the goal line and guy made a heck of a throw. But he was on the guy, playing the guy. Thought he feathered some nice plays on the side. I don't know how many tackles he had. Four, five, six tackles there. I thought he played a nice game. Thought he was very efficient.

Q. On that play, the majority kind of rained by Thomas and that long pass play out of the end zone. What do you tell -- you're playing an elusive quarterback with 300-pound linemen, he obviously overran it, but how do you --
COACH FISHER: You've got to bend your knees and have leverage points. You have to know how fast he's going, and create and cut it off and be ready to play inside out and what you're trying to do and where you're at. Hopefully your support comes back out or get up the field. I'm not sure on that one. He might have been halfway up the field. But I can't remember exactly off the top of my head. We went over it with the staff. But that's part of it. Those guys are on the edge.

Q. This week you guys are going to wear the (No microphone). What's that mean to you?
COACH FISHER: Well, I think education is the root of all change. I really do. If you're going to change the world, you change it with education. I think the more people who are educated and have a chance of education, because we talk about how smart people are, a lot of teams. Education for a lot of folks is opportunistic based on economic background or structure, where you're from. Some folks didn't have that opportunity. I think it's the key to everything.

I think the education part of it is the only way we're going to change this world. I think it's very critical. I think teachers are vastly underappreciated and underpaid. Especially for what they have to deal with today in the classroom with the limitations they have as far as discipline and things that go on.

Q. How does Josh (No microphone) played the last few weeks?
COACH FISHER: Played really good this last week. Him, and Pugh and those guys, that's a great young group there. A couple times there he tried to do too much a couple times, trying to make too many plays. But once he got it, boy, you saw the tip ball and the athleticism. He just keeps evolving into a really good player.

Q. You haven't lost a regular season game in almost three years. Is this different for you just in the way you're feeling or different in the last 48 hours?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, it was. Just going back to make sure you're practicing after that and the guys understand it. A lot of the preparation, lot of the notes in how you as a head coach and things that you're responsible for in making sure your team is doing. I make sure dotting Is, and crossing T's and talking to the guys and making sure everything's going the way it goes. It is. As far as that, you say you wish you could win them all, but that's part of it. You've got to adjust and go. You're right.

Q. Aside from the false starts, there were some other breakdowns at protection on the line?
COACH FISHER: 96 got pushed, that guy inside was a threat. They got one on the edge. Got pressure off the edge at one time that was really good. Second time we had another double move open that we thought we were going to be able to get. And they scrambled for about 7 yards.

That is the thing about it, you want to throw the ball down the field. That's great. But when you do that, you open yourself up to pass protection and you get guys down the field to open things up. That's where we were so blessed a couple years ago. We really had a great shot at that. You're high-reward, high-risk. Some guys have to get solo. Sometimes they don't get beat. They just get pressure, and it forces guys out of pocket. That is the thing about it. They can stop a pass by making the quarterback get off the spot or having to run, and they did a good job.

Q. Were there a couple times where Everett maybe had more in the pocket than you thought?
COACH FISHER: Not too many times. I thought once in the second half there on third down i wish he could have stepped up in the first one. He only had four possessions. That's what I say. We got the ball in there a couple times. I think he touched it 10 out of 22 times in the second half of our plays. We were trying to throw it to him.

We had a couple run/pass options and we threw the screen we were getting to him. Trying to mix things up to get it spread out to where we were getting the ball to our play makers in space. But that one third down, then in the next drive we drove down, and it was 14, 12, it was a long drive. We ate all the clock. Came out and there were no points. Then the next one, bad snap. We had a penalty lined up, and then rolling in, and got the snap. Had it back to 3rd and 3, had a nice play call like we had in the situation and snapped the ball and had the two-minute drive.

That's all we had in the second half. But I think, as I'm thinking, that was about the only one in the second half that I can think of. Might have been one or two in the first half, a hair. But he's doing it a couple times and took a couple shots and delivered strikes.

Q. How do you get the offensive linemen to get out of their own heads and just play?
COACH FISHER: Not worry about the results. Just talk to them, don't press them. Teach them, educate them, and tell them what it's like. They're all good enough or they wouldn't be here. They're all gerat players and they need to worry about playing great and dominating somebody and not worrying about the results. These young guys care so much sometimes, they care about the wrong things as far as winning.

When you say you don't care about winning, how you take care of winning is not worrying about winning. Just doing your job, relaxing, doing your assignment and technique. Not complicate the game. We can complicate everything. You know what I'm saying? I always talk about a free mind. Being able to think of one, two, three things. If you have one, boom. Then react and play. We've got to make sure we're doing that.

Q. Golson seemed pretty disappointed on his false start?
COACH FISHER: Guys, I promise you this, not one of them did it on purpose. Not one of them tried to do it. Not one of them meant to do it, and it kills every one of them deep inside when they do do it. We as coaches, fans, we all get upset. I promise you, no one, and as an ex-player, no one feels worse than the player himself, and they don't do it on purpose. You know what I'm saying?

They've got to relax and make sure they don't do it again, and understand why they did it the first time so they don't do it the second time. But that guy, Wilson Bell, talk about a great human being. He'll be a great person in life, I promise you.

Q. You've had a couple games like this, Coach, where you've had so many false starts in two games back-to-back.
COACH FISHER: I had one one time in the SEC Championship game we had like six or seven. But it was so loud for one game and not for two. You know what I'm saying? Not for two like that. But just press them. But I've never played as many, as many -- you had one freshman with a bunch of upperclassmen, sometimes those guys can -- not as many young guys. I think that's just guys trying too hard, caring too much.

And I know that sounds crazy. It's not. They want to do so well and show you. It's like you ever see when your kids come home and they figure something out that you've been on them for so long. Dad, I want to show you. No, wait a minute, I've got something else to do. No, dad, I want to show you right now. In a weird way they want to show you that they're doing things the right way, and that's part of it. Got to grow, and hopefully we'll get past that.

Q. What were your thoughts on what happened in Miami on Sunday?
COACH FISHER: I didn't have any. I hate it for this business. I don't like that for anybody. It's part of this business that's getting crazier and crazier. You see it in college football, it's filtering down. The patience is getting less and less. It's getting more like pro ball every day. I say that because of media coverage, scrutiny, money, all the things that go into it. It's all part of the world we're living in today. I hate it.

I thought Al was a good coach. Thought he did a great job. Thought he had good players. I mean, you don't know why things happen. I'm sure he'll do a great job. My thoughts and prayers are with him now because he's a great guy.

Q. Are you surprised at that game and how badly they got beaten at home?
COACH FISHER: I didn't see much of it. I have no-no idea. I don't know what happened. Sometimes you get injuries. Guys get hurt. I don't know what all happened. I have no idea.

Q. With Syracuse it looks like they've got a lot of youth especially at the skill positions and quarterback. Do you have to prepare for two quarterbacks with them?
COACH FISHER: Well, you do. I mean, you don't know what they're going to be able to do. You have to just watch the film. It's hard. Everybody says well you've got a week. Well, it's hard. You look at what those two have done and prepare for it. They'll have a few wrinkles here and there for things. But it's hard for people to do tons of things they haven't done in just a week of preparation, especially when you've got two guys because you have limited reps.

Because you have to remember something, if they're totally different, your offense, people say well, that quarterback does this offense, that quarterback does -- wait a minute, all those linemen got to do both offenses. All those backs got to do both offenses. People say that all the time. But you forget about the one constant group that's out there is everybody else. So it's hard to be totally, totally opposite. You know what I'm saying?

So we'll look at what they've done, and I'm sure there will be a few wrinkles here and there. But we'll prepare accordingly for the guys in those packages.

Q. Through seven games that's kind of a general broad question. What do you think of your defense in how they've played?
COACH FISHER: Been pleased. I thought the other night they played an outstanding game. They had a great relationship on the ball. They popped us with a couple influence and traps and mid-line there a couple times and then we got adjusted. We gave up the two plays before the half which was critical. We had them pinned. If we could have held them there, maybe gotten more points again and we come back at the half. That got to 13-10. Of course they added 4th and 5.

They for the most part played great. I've been very impressed with our quarterback. Our young guys are developing on defense. Up front we're playing the run very well right now.

Our linebackers with Ro'Derrick, boy, you never know. A guy like Ro'Derrick Hoskins who has jumped in that mix and really developed, especially when you have an injury to Terrance Smith and what's going on. And Sh'Mar and Ermon Lane you start seeing him emerge, and Reggie was there and those guys.

But I've been in the secondary with Derwin and all the guys, Jalen. I've been pleased. I think they've done a nice job of playing defense.

Q. It seemed to me it was startling the difference how you defend that offense last year to this year. And same thing with you. They kind of did the same thing they wanted to for a --
COACH FISHER: Almost the same plan. Almost nothing different, few wrinkles here and there, but not a lot of things different. That's why I say sometimes it's about how you do things in execution and do it the right way. Then we do something totally different. That's what, you know, it's not a magic potion you just throw out there. The guys making their minds up, getting better. Different players playing techniques better and squeezing the gaps and taking on blockers and doing all those things. I know that sounds -- but that's true. Just coached them better, did a better job and those guys grew up.

They played it really well. I mean, three or four times they had to go out there and get quarterbacks that had to just sit down. They popped their plays. They had a couple. They pulled some wrinkles out they hadn't pulled in a while. That pass play they tried to hit that Derwin broke up too, that was one we haven't seen since 2012 in the championship game. They had popped one on us there. When it kind of got back to that game. I don't know if you remember late, they kind of got back that. It was one 21 and that was one of the plays they did, and we recognized it and made the play on it.

Q. On the fourth down play that they hit, did Derwin just get caught peaking?
COACH FISHER: No, they kind of rubbed a flat route, and they rubbed him. He went flat trying to play it tight. He didn't get the first down. So he's got to keep his eyes on the hip and stay a little bit above and he played down on the ball. He played low to high and just got beat on the wheel route.

Q. You didn't play quite as much nickel I'm guessing because of what they do?

Q. But do you feel like Jayon Young might be the guy?
COACH FISHER: Yeah, we wanted a bigger body. We can play with Jacob because he's so athletic and we put that big body out there, and we kept it mixed. That way they have another look to contend with and we had it in there. Yes, I feel good about him playing. He played well coming into the game. We did it too to conflict not just because of Jayon, but have a plan if he got hurt, we had to have a regular plan and another guy behind him and a nickel plan set in stone there. So we wanted to have two alternatives instead of one. They also played with a regular set when you have an athlete like Jacob Pugh that can do those things, it makes it a little bit easier.

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